In The News

Burke-O-Lator to help scientists, shellfish growers deal with ocean acidity

Scientists use a lot of different tech to tackle the issue of ocean acidification, commonly deploying advanced devices on buoys across the world’s seas. But there is a new machine used to study the phenomenon: the Burke-O-Lator. Instead of getting strapped to a buoy, Burke-O-Lators, developed by a professor at Oregon State University named Burke Hales, are typically installed on ships, according to a release from the University of Washington . And though they don’t look pretty, the machines measure something scientists have wanted to track for some time: the suitability of ocean waters to form calcium carbonates that shellfish use to form their protective shells.

Read More

Taj Mahal discoloration due to human activity, according to study

Scientists have recently discovered that the Taj Mahal is turning brownish due to carbon particles from cooking, brick-making, trash burning, car exhaust and other human activity, The Times of India reported . The scientists used pristine pieces of marble placed around the Taj to trap airborne contaminant particles. An electron microscope told them the size, number and chemical element type of all particles trapped. Computer modeling compared the expected reflectance of certain carbon type pollutants with the actual reflectance changes on the Taj, helping the scientists determine which particle types were the likely culprits of discoloration. The Taj Mahal discoloration could be worse, however.

Read More

Global warming projections claim 3-degree hike this century

The world is on track to warm by 3 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, according to Grist . But the projection may not be as bad as it sounds, as it comes from figures released annually that have made higher warming projections in the past. In fact, the 3-degree warming projection is the lowest that the Climate Action Tracker has ever calculated. The projections drop, according to those overseeing the tracker, is due to newly proposed actions to mitigate climate change. The new actions put forth by China, the European Union and the United States reduced total projected warming by almost 0.5 degrees at century’s end, the climate tracker notes. Substantial certainty still remains, however, as China’s economy continues rapid expansion.

Read More